My mom (aka “Gracie”) turned 90 on April 22. To help her celebrate the big occasion, my sister and I launched a campaign for her to receive 90 birthday cards. By the end of the day on the 22nd, she had received 136!!!
We had a lovely brunch with family and a few friends on Saturday morning. In the afternoon, we made arrangements for her to go for a ride in a “big rig.” (Thanks, Al!)
This week, we are on a “birthday road trip” back to the place where she grew up — Bend, Oregon. As you can see, this 90-year old isn’t about to slow down!
Yesterday (April 21) may have been the birthday of Queen Elizabeth, but the Queen of our clan is just one year and one day behind her!
In celebration of her nearing the end of her ninth decade, here are 9 things you may or may not know about her:
She loves road trips. She’s been on road trips across Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Europe, and of course North America. Since I moved back to the States 4 years ago my sister and I have driven her to Alaska, Washington, and Newfoundland, plus many places in between.
She plays the piano at her church.
She volunteers at local senior care centers, playing the piano. They love it when she breaks out the old WW2 tunes!
She leads a senior’s Bible study at a local community center, which means she spends a lot of her time studying.
She is the subject of a short biographical film that is being produced by a local university student.
She loves loves loves Minnesota. When lots of her friends head to Florida or Arizona for the winter, she stays in town to tough out winter!
She drives a bright blue Camry (that she went out and bought for herself last year). When I tell my Chinese friends that she still drives, they nearly collapse in disbelief!
She has a thing about driving large vehicles. One year she got to drive a zamboni; another year a giant John Deere tractor. Her ultimate dream is to drive a snow plow at the Minneapolis airport!
She celebrated her 80th and 85th birthdays in China. She has also made it known that she wants to be there next April to celebrate her 90th. Who’s in?
The rest of you can celebrate Earth Day; around here we are going to celebrate Gracie’s birthday.
Happy Birthday, Mom!
P.S. She claims that the secret to her longevity is that she does not like vegetables!